Outsourcing challenges

Critique of Ho and Teo


Two articles will be covered in this critique. The two articles involved are:

  • "Factors Affecting e-Commerce Adoption by SMEs: A Meta-Analysis" by Teo Tze Luen, Caroline Chan and Craig Parker.
  • "IT Outsourcing: Impacts and Challenges" by Luke Ho and Anthony S. Atkins, from page 244 to page 274.


Both articles discuss about impacts and challenges corporations face when they engage in outsourcing. Teo (2006) provides a meta-analysis on the general factors that SMEs were affected when they adopt outsourcing into their business. Teo (2006) highlighted eight factors which are classified to three main area: technological context, organizational context and environmental context. Teo (2006) indicated in the article that this meta-analysis clearly indicated that the factors affecting the adoption of e-Commerce by SMEs are highly complex. There are conflicting reports regarding whether or not a factor affects the adoption of e-Commerce in an SME. Ho (2006) discuss in detail on outsourcing starting from the history, various type of outsourcing to the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing. General frameworks and methodologies of outsourcing are discussed.


The article written by Ho & Atkins provides the readers a general idea of what IT outsourcing is. However, the relevant information is mostly general. The authors placed too much emphasis on the explanation of what IT Outsourcing is and the development of IT Outsourcing, which make the readers think that the article is focusing more on what IT Outsourcing is about rather than discussing the impacts and challenges faced. Nevertheless, the article is very well structured. Points or factors are well segregated, for examples the discussion on the advantages of outsourcing and the risks of outsourcing. The articles discuss various frameworks for outsourcing decision making which highlights the increasing complexity of outsourcing. The article written by Teo Tze Luen, Caroline Chan and Craig Parker presents an initial model which will categorise SME e-Commerce adoption factors. Teo (2006) highlighted eight factors which affects SMEs outsourcing. The factors discussed are well detailed and supported with references. Both articles mentioned that over-reliance on outsourcing reduces organization competencies which results in loss of skill sets and knowledge. Hence, it is crucial that organizations should try to retain skilled employees and allocate tasks based on their skill set. Offshore outsourcing is another similarity discussed in both article. Ho (2006) highlighted that globalised companies tend to outsourcing part of their business process offshore to take advantages of the economy differences. Teo (2006) mentioned that in one of the 3 classified factor as well, the environmental context. Competitions are what drive corporations to consider outsourcing to maintain the business edge. This, however, reduce the employment rates in the local countries of these organizations which might impact the countries' economical development.


IT Outsourcing as mentioned in both articles, are generally misunderstood as one of the easy route to cost saving. With no preparation and researches, IT outsourcing might bring more trouble than benefits. Teo (2006) article highlight the major factors on SME outsourcing adoption and with relevant references to support the theory. Outsourcing is a very general word which is clearly discussed in Ho (2006) article. There are various types of outsourcing and each kind of outsourcing requires careful planning with the correct frameworks in order to achieve the benefits of Outsourcing. Both articles give me a more in-depth knowledge on what outsourcing is after reading them. Both articles are well structured and are complete in presenting the key points of each section of the articles. The overall presentation and clarity of both articles are excellent.


  • Ho, Luke and Atkins, Anthony S. 2006. IT Outsourcing: Impacts and Challenges. IT Enabled Strategic Management Idea Group, 244-274.
  • Teo, Tze Luen, Chan, Caroline and Craig Parker. 2006. IT Outsourcing: Issues in Singapore: The Vendors Perspective. ACIS

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